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York Dukes Give Back

By | Game Changers

“You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.”

Ethan Oder and Jack Musial are two high school student-athletes that attend and play soccer for York High School in Elmhurst, IL. Because soccer has always been such a big part of their lives, they decided to use the game to give back.

Together, they were able to rally their high school community around their Charity Ball fundraising campaign. They began by printing out flyers and posting them around town to create awareness and spark interest. Then, they spoke with their high school soccer parents and campaigned for donations at the parent meeting.

Their original goal was to raise $2,500. However, they blew that goal out of the water and were able to secure a total $4186 for Charity Ball to give soccer balls to kids around the world.

I was able to speak with Ethan and Jack on what they had hoped to achieve from this project. Their response was, above all, they wanted to use their resources and efforts to give kids who love the game just as much, the same opportunity to enjoy the game with their own ball.

I personally want to say congratulations and thank you to Ethan, Jack, the York Dukes soccer team, and the community for caring and committing to action. As demonstrated with the financial amount raised, the sky is the limit when you put your shoulder into your goals.

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder
Charity Ball FIFA Tournament Fundraiser

Sports, Gaming, and a Better World

By | Game Changers

When the time came for South Lakes High School (Reston, VA) sophomores Aria Kimiavi & Marcus Miles to decide on an idea for their MYP (Middle Year’s Project) it didn’t take long. That’s because their older brothers Bardia Kimiavi (Northwestern University) and Devin Miles (Catholic University) had organized the first Charity Video Game tournament at South Lakes three years earlier.  “I remember Bardia being so excited he had found a charity that provides soccer balls to third world countries,” Aria said.  Sports and gaming have long played a major role in these students’ lives, so they decided to continue the tradition with fellow sophomores and teammates Oliver Giaon, Andy Hurt, and Matthew Lature to raise over $500 for Charity Ball this past December.

“We have spent so much time together on the court, and also playing games off the court like 2k and FIFA over the years, that to think we could help others while doing what we love was too hard to pass up,” said Giaon; who along with Hurt, Lature, and Miles were part of an undefeated freshman basketball team last year. “Our school is truly built on a sense of community, and this event where we have gone from the youngest in the room, to now running it is a great example of that,” said Miles who also won a conference championship in football this year as the starting varsity quarterback.

Charity Ball Game Changers from South Lakes High School, Reston VAFor South Lakes High School teacher & Coach Jon McNamara who supervised the tournament, that family atmosphere is what pleases him most. “When former students who were part of organizing the first charity tournament like Spencer Alston (Yale) came back last week to visit, the charity tournament was one of the first things they ask about.” McNamara continued, “Being an IB school, one of the IB Learning Profile traits we try to instill in all students is caring. This year’s group of 5 students have shown that to their peers and teammates to great success on and off the court/field; and with the help of Charity Ball can now demonstrate that caring to the larger world—for kids who have not had the same opportunities and access to sports as them.”  As the day ended, Giaon said three freshman came up to him hoping to learn the ropes and continue the tradition in 2019.

Thanks Andy, Bardia, Matthew, Marcus, and Oliver for using what you love to make a difference!

Top 10 Soccer Cleats of 2018

By | Products, Soccer Culture

2018 has been a great year for soccer. The World Cup, Liverpool being at the top of the Premier League, and some of the coolest soccer cleat releases ever. Below are our top 10 picks of 2018.

 

 

#10 Adidas Glitch 2.0 Russian “World Cup Pack”
This cleat is pure art. Adidas did a great job modeling the boot for the Russia World Cup. The red and blue match the colors of the host flag and the geometric patterns are a traditional Russian art technique.

 

#9 New Balance Furon 4.0 “Otruska”
The fourth generation of the New Balance Furon is a simple, yet stunning cleat. The red glossy sole plate works really well with the white upper. Thumbs up!

 

#8 Nike Hypervenom Phantom Harry Kane “Keep It Kane”
To celebrate Harry Kane’s 100th Premier League goal, Nike designed these sweet Hotspur boots. Production was limited to 100 pairs. Definitely a thing of beauty.

 

#7 Nike Superfly GS 360 Remake
Made out of 100% recycled material, the GS 360s are the most innovative cleats for 2018. Designed to look like the original Superfly Green Speeds, (released in 2012) only 1500 pairs were produced.

 

#6 Adidas Predator Telstar
Modeled after the 2018 World Cup Knockout Stage match ball, the Adidas Predator Telstar looks amazing. The red, black, white and gold color way is nice and clean just like ball itself.

 

#5 Nike x Kim Jones Mercurial Superfly VI
These limited edition boots were inspired by the cheetah. The fastest land animal on the planet and a boot specifically designed for speed go hand and hand. Kim Jones and Nike nailed it.

 

#4 Nike Phantom Vision Jordan x PSG
Black & red—it doesn’t get any better. These cleats came out of a collaboration between Jordan and PSG. Love to see more boots like these in the future.

 

#3 Adidas Glitch 18 “Nocturnal Skin”
One of the most unique cleats of the year. The safari style pattern and the purple, pink and blue color way allows a player to stand out on the pitch. These boots were exclusively released in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

#2 Nike x EA Sports Phantom Vision
This is the 3rd iteration of the Nike EA Sports collaboration and it’s probably one of the best. The red, blue and gold work perfectly together. Nike even incorporated the buttons from the Playstation and Xbox controller patterns on the shoe. As fate would have it, the cleat was sold in limited supply.

 

#1 Nike Mercurial Vapor Luka Modric
These cleats are insane. The color way is beautiful and the glassy design pattern is mesmerizing. It is unfortunate that Nike made only one pair just for just Luka Modric. One can only dream!

Jaden King

By: Jaden King, Charity Ball
Charity Ball delivers soccer balls during the World Cup

To Russia With Love: Soccer Ball Delivery

By | Ball Deliveries

One of the most incredible weeks of my life without a doubt…

I had an absolutely unbelievable time in Russia. The experience was super humbling. It’s been awhile since my last personal soccer ball delivery, so traveling to Moscow during the 2018 World Cup was a refreshing and meaningful experience.

The ball recipients this time were beautiful kids living with Cancer, Down syndrome, and various forms of mental illness. We also spent time at a location outside of Moscow where the kids were either deaf or hearing impaired. Because they weren’t able to fully speak, their smiles and laughter said it all.

Every opportunity with Charity Ball is special. However, this delivery in particular was extraordinary. The vibes after each delivery were so surreal. It was like I was being lead to discover what life is really about. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and forget about everything outside your own personal world. But these deliveries served as a reminder to me that my concerns and interests are so trivial. There is a whole planet full of kids and people who are hurting and struggling to make it day-to-day. Our job, or my job at least, is to realize that they can be celebrated, helped, and empowered if I take the chance to get beyond my fleeting cognitive intentions and commit to action.

I want to give a quick shoutout to Continental Tire and the following people for helping us put together this amazing project:

Amanda Henson
Julie Conlin
Vladimir Barvinok
Ekaterina Surina

Also thanks to Alexandra Holland and Natalya Pavlova from Johnson & Johnson for helping with delivery logistics.

Finally, I want to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who support our work. It means the world to have your backing. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you.

The Reason To Believe campaign is still LIVE and I’m working to secure the remaining $18K. It would mean the world to have your financial support so we can continue to bring hope to kids across the planet. Donate here.

THANK YOU!

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder
Charity Ball ball delivery in Russia for World Cup

To Russia With Love

By | Ball Deliveries

It’s World Cup season, and group play has almost wrapped up! Now is when things start to get interesting.

In two weeks time, I will be on a plane to Russia. But, I will not be there for the games. Instead, I will be partnering with Continental Tire to hand-deliver 200 custom soccer balls to disadvantaged kids in orphanage facilities. This project has been in the works for a few months now, so I am thrilled that it is finally coming to fruition.

Reason To Believe

I Need Your Help

In conjunction with my trip, I’ve launched a #ReasonToBelieve $25K fundraising campaign. The reality is that many kids who are Charity Ball recipients live in extreme poverty and often lack hope. However, the simple gift of a soccer ball plus clean drinking water can change their lives and give them a Reason To Believe that a better future is possible. This fundraiser will sponsor a Christmas soccer tournament for 500 kids and give clean drinking water to an additional 7,500 people in Kenya.

Here’s How You Can Help:

1.) Donate To My #ReasonToBelieve Campaign Here
2.) Help Promote the Campaign: Leverage your social media and/or your social influence.
3.) Spread The Word: If there are other people in your circle who have a heart for what we’re doing, we’d love to have them on board.

Thanks for your support!

Ethan King

By: Ethan King, Charity Ball Founder
PS: follow us on Twitter @TeamCharityBall for real-time updates from Russia.
charity ball, soccer charity, ball delivery

Soccer Charity, Soccer Love

By | Ball Deliveries

Ten year old Ella recently returned from a “vacation with a purpose” where she hand-delivered Charity Balls. Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria both left a devastating mark on the Turks and Caicos Islands where Ella, her mother Britt, and her grandmother Cindy went last month. They volunteered at a local primary school and hand-delivered new soccer balls to the kids.

Ella delivers soccer balls for Charity Ball

Here’s what Ella had to share with us:

“One of the little boys, Alexis, who received a Charity Ball had recently lost his dad and was sent to live at the local orphanage. It was evident that he was having a very difficult time with the transition. When I told him he was getting his very own soccer ball and he could pick out which one he wanted, he couldn’t stop hugging us saying, ‘You mean I get to keep it?’ All day long he hung onto that ball and wouldn’t stop smiling. In fact, he wrote his name on it because he didn’t want anyone else to claim it 🙂
So many children were moved and lit up with smiles because of Charity Ball’s generosity. It brought us all to tears! Thank you so so much for helping make this mission possible!”

Alexis receives a soccer ball from Charity Ball

Ella, thank you for taking time out of your vacation to share the gift of soccer and make the lives of kids a little more beautiful!

world cup sale

World Cup Sale

By | World Cup

All Charity Ball merchandise is now 30% off. Use Promo Code WORLDCUP18. The 30% off promotion runs from June 14, 2018 – July 14, 2018.

Shop Now

World Cup 2018 Charity Bracket Challenge

By | World Cup

WHO: Organized and launched by Kam Pirouz: a high schooler and competitive soccer player from the state of Maryland. You can check him out on instagram at @kamkampz

WHAT: Similar to the bracket challenge for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, Kam has put together a contest for the World Cup. The entry fee of $10 goes towards the winning pot. 50% of the money will be given to the person with the most correct predictions while the other half of the pot will be donated to Charity Ball.

WHEN: The first game of the World Cup (Russia vs. Saudi Arabia) kicks off on Thursday @ 11 AM EST. Get your entries in by then.

WHERE: Here is the link to the Charity Bracket Challenge: https://www.leaguesafe.com/join/3863427/world-cup-for-charity-ball Simply type “yes” to confirm the terms and you’re off to the races.

WHY: Kam, along with a large proportion of the planet, is hyped for the World Cup. To provide an element of competition for those of us who won’t be playing on the pitch in Russia, Kam decided to launch a bracket challenge. However, to make it more significant than any other ESPN or FOX soccer challenge, he added the charity the aspect and is delegating 50% of the winning pot to Charity Ball.

Cheers Kam for your efforts and big heart. Help us celebrate the World Cup and help kids by entering the Charity Bracket challenge!

Charity Ball’s 100 Best Places to Play Soccer

By | Soccer Culture, Soccer Fields

Soccer is everywhere.

No matter where you travel in the world, you will find beautiful people playing The Beautiful Game. All you need is a ball.

To showcase the world’s love for the Game, we’ve compiled what we consider to be the 100 coolest places to play soccer. If you’ve ever seen or (better yet) played on any of these pitches, drop us a note on Twitter @teamcharityball, we’ love to hear about it.

—Enjoy.

100 Ice Soccer

Antarctica
Photo: Frank Hurley

99 Roof Top Soccer

Miami, Florida, USA
Photo: Brickell Soccer Roof Top

98 Empty Pool Soccer

Havana, Cuba
Photo: Alexandre Meneghini

97 Indoor Soccer [Grand Park]

Westfield, Indiana, USA
Photo: Grand Park

96 Naval Destroyer Soccer

USS Arleigh Burke
Photo: Scott Pittman

95 Street Soccer

Times Square, NYC
Photo: Street Soccer USA

94 Swamp Soccer

Hyrynsalmi, Finland
Photo: Nokian Tires

93 Ruins Soccer

Paricatuba, Brazil
Photo: Felipe Dana

92 5-a-side Soccer [Fives Futbol]

Cape Town, South Africa

91 Playmore Soccer [Moscova]

Milan, Italy

90 Renewable Energy Soccer [Morro da Mineira]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

89 ESPN Wide World of Sports

Orlando, Florida, USA

88 Urban Pitch Soccer

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo: Ford Europe

87 Midnight Soccer

Mocimboa Da Praia, Mozambique
Photo: Ian Allen

86 Historical Soccer

Bambugh Castle, England

85 Crazy Cold Soccer

Tasiilaq, Greenland
Photo: Grant Dixon

84 Pier 5 Soccer

Brooklyn, New York, USA
Photo: Julienne Schaer

83 Hotspur Soccer [Tottenham Training Field]

Enfield, United Kingdom
Photo: KSS Group

82 Underground Soccer

Paris, France
Photo: Soccer Bible

81 Pick Up Soccer

Sorrento, Italy
Photo: Swig

80 Stade Louis II Soccer

Fontvielle, Monaco

79 Lake Michigan Soccer [Northwestern University]

Evanston, Illinois
Photo: Northwestern University

78 Build Your Own Soccer

Helsby, England

77 Tavares Bastos Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

76 Macul Soccer [Estadio Monumental]

Santiago, Chile

75 Favela Soccer

Sao Carlos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

74 Arctic Soccer

Qaqortoq, Greenland
Photo: Steve Menary

73 French Riviera Soccer

La Turbie, Monaco
Photo: AS Monaco FC

72 Favela Soccer

Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Charity Ball

71 Mud Soccer [Harbor Island]

Grand Haven, Michigan, USA
Photo: Charity Ball

70 Arctic Circle Soccer

Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

69 Changlimithang Soccer

Thimphu, Bhutan

68 2013 Snow Classico [DSG Park]

Colorado, USA

67 The Big Issue Soccer [Darling Harbour]

Sydney, Australia

66 Alpine Soccer

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

65 Space Soccer

International Space Station
Photo: NASA

64 Laser Light Soccer [Adidas Nitro Charge Pitch]

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

63 Bamiyan Soccer

Bamyan, Afghanistan

62 5-A-Side Soccer [ProDirect Soccer]

London, England

61 Dome Soccer [Aspire Dome]

Doha, Qatar

60 Cage Soccer [Thompson Flyover]

Singapore

59 Parking Garage Soccer [University of Utah]

Utah, USA

58 Near West Soccer

University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA

57 Mountain Soccer

Bilad Sayt, UAE

56 Parking Garage Soccer [Pomona College]

Claremont, California, USA

55 Train Station Soccer [Five Points MARTA Station]

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

54 Oil Rig Soccer

Pechora Sea

53 Salt Mine Soccer

Soledar, Ukraine

52 Indoor Soccer [Soccer Coliseum]

Teaneck, New Jersey, USA

51 Africa Bush Soccer

Rongo, Kenya
Photo: Charity Ball

50 Mini Pitch Soccer

Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

49 Street Soccer

Yangon, Myanmar
Photo: Urban Pitch

48 Pier 40 Soccer [Hudson River Park]

NYC, New York, USA

47 Big Apple Soccer [Asphalt Green]

NYC, New York, USA

46 Play [well] Soccer

Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique
Photo: Charity Ball

45 Evergrande Soccer

Qingyuan, Guangdong, China

44 Roof Soccer

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Photo: Pillitz

43 Skyline Soccer

Tokyo, Japan
Photo: Eric Meola

42 Taj Soccer

Agra, India
Photo: Eric Meola

41 Beach Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

40 Ancient Soccer

Giza, Egypt
Photo: Stecker

39 Quarry Soccer

Uluwatu, Indonesia
Photo: Levon Bliss

38 Favela Soccer

Dona Marta, Brazil

37 Paradise Soccer

Hurawalhi, Maldives

36 Cornfield Soccer

Landshut, Germany

35 FIFA Soccer

Cape Town, South Africa

34 Floating Soccer

Ko Panyi, Thailand

33 Eiffel Soccer

Paris, France
Photo: Pries

32 Church Soccer

Jaurez, Mexico
Photo: Aguirre

31 Motor City Soccer [Keyworth Stadium]

Hamtramck, Michigan, USA
Photo: Degennaro

30 Power Soccer [Osceola Heritage Park]

Kissimmee, Florida, USA
Photo: Goodman

29 High-Rise Soccer [City Place]

Toronto, Canada
Photo: Tait

28 BVB Soccer [Westfalenstadion]

Dortmund, Germany

27 Pickup Soccer [Griffith Park]

Los Angeles, California, USA

26 ‘The Bont’ Soccer [Pontcysyllte Aqueduct]

North Wales

25 Gladiator Soccer [The Colosseum]

Rome, Italy

24 Scandinavian Soccer [Prioritet Serneke Arena]

Gothenburg, Sweden

23 West Coast Soccer [MacArthur Park]

Los Angeles, California, USA

22 Breathtaking Soccer

Celerina, Switzerland
Photo: van der Meer

21 Sugarloaf Soccer

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Griffiths

20 Local Pride Soccer [Tabard Gardens]

London, England
Photo: Fox

19 Andes Soccer

Urubamba. Peru
Photo: Kass

18 Cocodrilos Soccer

Caracas, Venezuela

17 Camp Nou Soccer

Barcelona, Spain

16 Himalayan Soccer

Annapurna Region, Nepal

15 Big Dome Soccer [Toyohira-ku]

Sapporo, Japan

14 God’s Country Soccer [Lake Tahoe Community College]

Lake Tahoe, California, USA

13 Rocky Mountain Soccer

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA

12 Zenit Soccer [Petrovsky Stadium]

St. Petersburg, Russia

11 Leicester City Soccer [King Power Stadium]

Leicester, England

10 Urban Soccer [The Base]

Berlin, Germany

9 Royalty Soccer [Buckingham Palace]

London, England

8 Winner Stays Soccer

Rome, Italy

7 Khayelitsha Township Soccer

Cape Town, South Africa
Photo: Amandla EduFootball

6 Laser Pitch Soccer

Madrid, Spain

5 Majestic Soccer

Henningsvaer, Norway

4 Puskás Soccer [Pancho Aréna]

Felcsút, Hungary
Photo: Takacs

3 Neighborhood Soccer

Houston, Texas USA
Photo: Londono

2 Backyard Soccer

Zeeland, Michigan USA
Photo: Charity Ball

1 Anywhere with your friends

All you need is a ball
Photo: Charity Ball

Southampton FC: Signed Jersey for Charity

By | Game Changers, Products, Soccer Culture

Today we are launching a very unique fundraiser for us here at Charity Ball. This is the first time we have been given an official jersey from a historic English club, Southampton FC, which has been signed by the ENTIRE first team. You can now enter to win this awesome and distinct prize. However, I thought the back story behind the jersey would be worth noting, especially for die hard soccer fans.

Southampton Signed JerseyThe main man behind this jersey donation is Hugo Scheckter (@hugoscheckter on twitter). Hugo was born in the great state of Georgia (USA) and now lives in London. Soccer has been an integral part of Hugo’s life and career, which started with coaching in high school. He then studied Sports Business at George Washington University and continued to coach club and high school soccer. After graduating from GWU he was hired by Indy Eleven, an NASL team at the time. He then progressed to work as a Player Liaison Officer for Southampton FC for 3.5 years. This past March, he signed on with West Ham to work as their Head of Player Care.

Hugo Sheckter

As the Head of Player Care, Hugo’s primary objective is to make sure the players have everything they need off the field so they can be their best on the field. On match days he arrives 5 hours before kick off to arrange reserve tickets for players’ friends and families, set up sponsor visits and organize pre match meals. Once warm up begins Hugo’s work is more relaxed and he gets to take in the game from the bench. He really enjoys the relationships he gets to build with both players and their families.

To wrap things up, I asked Hugo if he has a favorite team that he didn’t work for, and his answer was surprising: “To be honest, soccer is my life and my career – so my time as a fan is over! My entire energy goes into making sure the players I work with are the best they can be, so I don’t really have time for following other teams. But from time to time I like to check in on clubs that I used to support when I was younger, like DC United and Indy Eleven.”

Hugo found us on Twitter and wanted to get involved with us right away. He loved how Charity Ball is different from many other charities in that we use soccer as a medium to improve children’s lives across the globe. You can expect to see more collaborations between Charity Ball and Hugo in the future!

 

Now that you know the story behind the jersey be sure to check out our online raffle drawing below for the signed Southampton Jersey.

Be sure to follow and tweet us about this story! @teamcharityball, @hugosheckter, @ethan_king5 (our founder)

WIN THIS SIGNED SOUTHAMPTON JERSEY!

For every $25 you donate (using the link below) your name will be entered into a drawing and a new, quality soccer ball will be given to a child. Enter as many times as you like.

Winner will be announced at half time during the FA Cup Semi-Final, Southampton vs Chelsea (April 22, 2018).

SamBarthel

By: Sam Barthel, Team Charity Ball